For the first time ever, researchers have created a material that acts as a superconductor at nearly room temperature. But there’s a catch.
Superconductors are the secret sauce that many designs for quantum computers, particle accelerators, and fusion reactors depend on to function. But most superconductors need to be kept at ultra cold temperatures, a drawback that severely limits their use.
Superconductors are aptly named; they’re materials that conduct electricity with zero resistance, meaning a current can move through the material without losing any energy.
They also expel magnetic fields thanks to a phenomenon called the Meissner effect. If an external magnetic field is weak enough, it cannot penetrate the material, but stronger magnetic fields interact with superconductors in one of two ways, depending on the kind of superconductor.